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Kekuli Cafe is finally under construction in Kamloops

The Kekuli Cafe in Kamloops is planning to open in six weeks.
The Kekuli Cafe in Kamloops is planning to open in six weeks.

The Kekuli Café in Kamloops is finally under construction and is projected to open its doors in six weeks.

Owner Elijah Mack-Stirling said it has not been easy opening the business but there are no longer obstacles in the way.

Mack-Stirling said in an interview with iNFOnews, Nov. 2, he had to wait months for the city to approve his permit.

READ MORE: Why the Kekuli Cafe's long-awaited Kamloops location is still waiting

“My permit was approved a little over a week after the interview," he said. “Then I had to wait because the city said they needed electrical drawings for the permit and the contractor said they needed the permit first. It was a Catch-22.” 

Mack-Stirling said the approvals fell into place last week and the construction process began a couple of days ago. While he isn’t clear on what order the next steps will happen in, he has been choosing designs and materials for the renovations.

“(After the story was published) it was like a window opened all at once and everything is flooding in,” he said. “It looks like the electrical is happening. My oven is in the building now, the chairs have arrived and my show piece for my bannock has arrived. The cabinets are on their way.”

Owner of Kekuli Cafes in Merritt and Kamloops, Elijah Mack-Stirling (right), with Kekuli Café franchise founder Sharon Bond.
Owner of Kekuli Cafes in Merritt and Kamloops, Elijah Mack-Stirling (right), with Kekuli Café franchise founder Sharon Bond.
Image Credit: SUBMITTED/ Kekuli Cafe Merritt

Mack-Stirling lives in Merritt and owns the Kekuli Café there. He and his family were evacuated to Kamloops mid-month due to the major flooding of the Coldwater River.

READ MORE: Merritt flood evacuees begin arriving in Kamloops

Mack-Stirling said he has been travelling back and forth between his café in Merritt and his family, which is staying in Kamloops, for days.

“The street my home and café are on were mostly spared by the floods,” he said. “A lot of food went bad at the café after we were evacuated. It has required a lot of cleaning. Panic buying and flooded supply routes make getting food and supplies for the business a challenge.”

Mack-Stirling said he is tired after managing through the flooding crisis and keeping up with two businesses, but maintains he is mostly grateful.

“Everything happens for a reason,” he said. “Sometimes I don’t get to know why. I have an amazing support system of friends and family and my community. The biggest thing we have is our community, especially during crisis.”

Mack-Stirling said last week he and some friends got together to make sandwiches, soups and chili for evacuees in Kamloops, after being given the use of the Alliance and United Church kitchens.

He is currently planning a fundraiser for next week to help victims of the flooding. He plans to sell Indian Tacos from his café in Merritt with all proceeds going to help families recover.

"I had friends from across the country reaching out to make sure I am okay since the flooding," he said. "I am honoured and humbled to give back wherever I can."

As the new Kekuli Café location in Kamloops takes shape, Mack-Stirling is back to waiting.

“I’m letting the contractors do their thing now,” he said. “I cannot wait, I am beyond excited. I am getting anxious driving by it every day.”

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